A New Stage of the Middle East Crisis: Are Foreign Fighters Back? Expert Discussion
Valdai Discussion Club Conference Hall (Bolshaya Tatarskaya 42, Moscow, Russia)
List of speakers

On March 22, at 11:00 A.M., the Valdai Discussion Club will host an expert discussion, titled “A New Stage of the Middle East Crisis: Are Foreign Fighters Back?”

The defeat of ISIS (banned in Russian Federation) in Syria and Iraq and completion of the military phase of the crisis in these countries pose new challenges for the international community. A return to peaceful life in the affected regions, which have suffered through years of war, requires, above all, a civil reconciliation. In this context, supporters of the armed struggle for the creation of a fundamentalist religious caliphate, who arrived in the conflict zone from different countries, cannot find a place for themselves.

Some of them have moved on to other unstable countries, such as Libya, Yemen and Afghanistan. Others, for various reasons, have decided to return to their homelands, creating ethical dilemmas for many countries and, in the worst cases, security problems. For Russia and the new states of Eurasia, this problem is the most acute. According to various estimates, about 10-12 thousand citizens of the CIS countries took part in the hostilities in Syria and Iraq.

What are the trends that have emerged in the resolution of the Middle East crisis? What problems arise in connection with the return of foreign fighters to their homeland? How do Russia and other states in Eurasia solve this problem? The participants of the expert discussion will answer these and other questions.


  • Yerlan Karin, Chairman of the Kazakhstan Council on Foreign Relations

  • Vasily Kuznetsov, Director of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences

  • Maria Khodynskaya-Golenischeva, Senior Advisor, Foreign Policy Planning Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation


  • Timofey Bordachev, program director of Valdai Club, scientific director of the Centre for Comprehensive European and International Studies.

Working languages: Russian, English.

Information for the media! To attend, please fill out the accreditation form or call +7 926 930 77 63  

Information for participants! If you have any questions, please call +7 926 638 86 37